Sleep is part of our daily routine, where our body enters a condition which our nervous system is inactive, eyes are closed, postural muscles are relaxed and our consciousness is temporarily disabled. However, in recent years where new technologies that contain more advanced software which allows human to become more obese with technology. These new technologies cause humans to have fewer hours of sleep comparing in the past. A study has shown that in 1998, where technologies weren’t as developed as the present, 88% of the human on the Earth tend to have more than 6 hours per day. However, after new technologies were developed along with the advanced software, only 71% of the human on the Earth still sleeps more than 6 hours per day. This is a significant decline over the past 11 years where it went from 88% to 71%. However, you might ask why is sleep so important to the human being? Sleep plays an important role in each human’s life, as it takes care of both physical and mental part of the human body. As an athlete myself, I was clearly able to understand the huge difference between a sufficient amount of sleeping and an insufficient amount of sleep. When it comes to athlete, sleep becomes a crucial part for the athletes, especially when they are expected to perform at such high level continuously. Sports relies heavily on both physical and mental parts in the human’s body, and with sleep deprivation, it can damage both of the physical and mental of our body. During a game or training, athletes are expected to be concentrated at all time, where they have to react under highly intense pressure. With sleep deprivation, it has the capability of reducing the arousal levels and the cognitive processes of the human, causing the athlete to be easily distracted . The arousal level involves many different neural systems in the neurotransmitters when the systems are in action, it becomes sensitive and responds to an incoming signal. The arousal in our body are responsible for human alertness, attention and information processing, however when the level of arousal in our body decreases, it causes human to become less alert, where they are less aware of the surrounding and becomes slower at processing information. The cognitive processes involve many different complex mental activities such as thinking, imagining or information processing . An athlete relies heavily on his or her’s cognitive functions since athletes are required to have good decision making, an accurate perception in order to outstand their opponent on the court. With both of arousal level and cognitive processes being reduced, this could lead to poor attention and concentration where the athlete will more likely to make a mistake during such high pressured situation. For an example, in a football game, the goalkeeper plays a significant role as the athlete has the responsibility to prevent the opponent from scoring. However, in the game of football, the number of goals lies under double-digit where every goal is extremely crucial. The nature of this game creates a high intense pressure for the goalkeeper where it requires the goalkeeper to be fully concentrated at all time. However, when it comes to a situation where the opponent’s striker is heading towards the goal. In this situation, there are two decisions waiting to be made by the goalkeeper; either stay at the goal and let the striker comes to you, or charge towards the striker. Normally, it would take the goalkeeper 0.7 seconds to decide which choice to make. However, with the lack of sleep, the goalkeeper’s reaction speed will more likely decrease by 2.4 percent . With that small gap of hesitation during the decision making, it could really affect the outcome of the decision where it determines if the goalkeeper can stop the shot or not. As I mentioned before, sleep deprivation not only affects the mental part of an athlete but also the physical part of it. Another huge category is the physical part of the game, where athletes under competitive sports are required to have the qualities of fitness, stamina and skill set. In order to maximize these performances, physical training such as skill training or weight training is needed. Training creates a physical stress to our muscles, where it’s called ” Microtrauma”. Microtrauma is the micro tears in our muscle fiber . This can be seen after the workout such as sore or pain on your muscles. This leads to our body’s neural adaptations where our body repairs the damaged muscle fibers through a cellular process where new muscle protein strands are formed to provide more proteins to the myofibrils (muscle cells) in order to repair the damaged muscle cells . This process allows the myofibrils to become bigger, however, this process of adaptations does not occur when we are lifting weights, but actually when we are rest. This is where sleep plays a huge role in this whole process of growing muscle. In order to activate the process of neural adaptation within our muscles, rest is extremely important. Within the 24 hours that we have during each day, the most amount of rest that we can get is during our sleep where we are capable of consuming at least 7-8 hours of sleep normally. During these 7-8 hours of sleep, it allows our body to fully recover and replace our damaged myofibrils, which the newly repaired myofibrils increase in size and number. However, a sleep deprivation can interrupt this process of neural adaptation by not giving enough time for our body to recover from the damage myofibrils. In order for your muscle to grow larger (hypertrophy), your body must synthesize proteins faster than it is breaking down proteins in the muscle. This can be simplified as you are eating meals you’re consuming nutrients, while you’re exercising you are breaking down the proteins in your body. This is a very important concept to know because many athletes lost track of time in the gym where they overstayed in the gym for 6-7 hours without consuming any sorts of nutrient. This will actually cause a negative effect to the athlete’s body as the body itself will end up break down the proteins in the muscle causing the muscle to actually decrease in size. In order for hypertrophy to occur, the rate of your body that is synthesizing proteins must be greater than the rate your body is breaking down proteins in their muscle. This is where sleep plays another huge role in this process, sleep is the longest period your body has in a day to synthesize proteins. After absorbing nutrients from the meals you have during the day, your body begins to synthesize proteins to repair and build muscle tissue, however, your body needs time for the process to occur, so resting and recovering becomes very crucial in order for this to occur. The hormones in our body play another important role in being responsible for our muscle growth, however, the amount of hormones release each night has a close connection with the hours of sleep you received every night. Human growth hormones (HGH) is the hormone that is responsible for building and repairing our muscles. HGH plays an important role for athletes that are trying to build their muscles however, experts have estimated that 75 percent of the HGH is actually produced during sleep which means that a sleep deprivation can affect the amount of HGH that is produced during each night . To maintain the production of HGH, a regular sleep routine with a high quality of sleep is very important. The majority of our HGH is released during Stage 3 of our sleep cycle. Stage 3, known as for deep sleep is the most restorative stages of sleep and it normally occurs after an hour of your sleep. However, a sleep deprivation has the ability to impact whether your HGH gets released or not. The production of hormones relies heavily on the Circadian rhythm in our body. The Circadian rhythm is like a natural clock of our body that tells us what to do in a certain time. For an example, when it starts to become late at night, you will begin to feel tired and exhausted or it could also be why you would wake up naturally in the morning without any disturbance. All these things are all part of the Circadian rhythm of your body as it is use to this type of rhythm. This explains why there will be jetlag when you are traveling to a different continent, because when you travel to another time zone, your circadian rhythm would be mixed up by a different rhythm making things irregular for your body. This is sort of similar to what a sleep deprivation can do. Sleep deprivation destroys the normal circadian rhythm that you originally have. A study has been done by a group of scientists where they hide people from the sunlight and allows them to set their own sleeping schedule and it ended up deviating from their every circadian system because they’re not sure what the actual time is. When we visually see the falling of the sun, our body works along with our circadian rhythm to activate the production of Melatonin and makes us fall asleep easier. Melatonin is a type of hormone made by the pineal gland where it’s produced in our body to let us know when to sleep and when to wake up. It has the ability to increase the production of growth hormones by increasing the sensitivity of growth releasing hormones. Therefore when we mess up our body’s Circadian rhythm, it decreases the release of melatonin which at the same time, decreases the release of growth hormone causing our muscles not being able to receive the recovery that it requires. Every athlete trains themselves in order to perform their absolute best on the court, however, the hours of sleep can cause a direct effect on athlete’s performance to a large extent in categories such as explosiveness, reaction time or strength. Which is why I would like to take this chance to investigate in how and what ways could the hours of sleep affect an athlete’s performance.